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Social Networking Giant Facebook Has Multi-Year Plans to Overhaul its Systems: Mark Zuckerberg

More than two billion people use one of Facebook services every day

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In a bid to prevent foreign interference into elections, facebook has also begun labelling all political and issue ads in the us -- including a
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Wikimedia commons

Saying goodbye to one of his toughest years filled with several controversies, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he is “proud” of the progress in 2018 and the company has now established multi-year plans to overhaul its systems and is executing those roadmaps.

In a year-end note on Friday, the 34-year-old Zuckerberg said his personal challenge has been to focus on preventing election interference, stopping the spread of hate speech and misinformation, making sure people have control of their information and ensuring his services improve people’s well-being.

This, however, does not mean Facebook will catch every bad actor or piece of bad content on its platform, he said.

“To be clear, addressing these issues is more than a one-year challenge. For some of these issues, like election interference or harmful speech, the problems can never be fully solved,” the Facebook CEO lamented.

“But we’ve now established multi-year plans to overhaul our systems and we’re well into executing those roadmaps,” added Zuckerberg who faced intense scrutiny over Cambridge Analytica data scandal in 2018.

Scandals surrounding Facebook started surfacing in such higher frequencies that industry observers began questioning if the social media giant with over two billion users would be able to survive in the long term.

Leading the charge of the attack on Internet “monopolies” was American billionaire investor George Soros, who warned that social media companies can have adverse consequences on the functioning of democracy and that the days of the US-based IT giants were numbered.

Scrutiny of Facebook increased manifold since it revealed earlier in 2018 how a London-based political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica, that worked for US President Donald Trump’s campaign, improperly got access to data of up to 87 million users.

Facebook has multi-year plans to overhaul its systems: Zuckerberg.

Appearing before a US Congress Committee in April, Zuckerberg apologised for the Cambridge Analytica data leak scandal.

“We’re a very different company today than we were in 2016, or even a year ago. We’ve fundamentally altered our DNA to focus more on preventing harm in all our services,” the Facebook CEO stressed.

“We now have more than 30,000 people working on safety and invest billions of dollars in security yearly,” he added.

In May, he appeared before the European Parliament to respond to questions surrounding the company’s business practices, its plans on fighting misinformation on the platform and protecting user privacy among others.

“For preventing election interference, we’ve improved our systems for identifying the fake accounts and coordinated information campaigns that account for much of the interference — now removing millions of fake accounts every day,” said Zuckerberg in the year-end note.

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“For stopping the spread of harmful content, we’ve built AI systems to automatically identify and remove content related to terrorism, hate speech, and more before anyone even sees it,” he said, adding that these systems take down 99 per cent of the terrorist-related content before anyone even reports it.

More than two billion people use one of Facebook services every day.

“People have come together using these tools to raise more than $1 billion for causes and to find more than 1 million new jobs. More than 90 million small businesses use our tools, and more than half say they’ve hired more people because of them,” said Zuckerberg. (IANS)

Next Story

No one Would Buy a Huawei Smartphone Sans Google or Facebook

Despite all this, there is no respite seen for Huawei in the near future and the company is likely to witness its smartphone business dwindle

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FILE - A member of the media tries out new Huawei Honor 20 series of phones following their global launch in London, UK, May 21, 2019. VOA

By Nishant Arora

Be honest and ask yourself: Would you buy a smartphone that neither supports Android operating system and Google apps nor comes pre-installed with Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram? This is the scenario which Huawei (and its sub-brand Honor) smartphones stare at in the near future – and an imminent fall if the issue does not get resolved in the next one-two quarters.

Although the Chinese communications giant aims to launch its own operating system called “Hongmeng” to replace the Android OS on its smartphones but ‘abhi Dilli door hai’ as the OS has to see the light of the day and then users’ approval, which is the most critical part.

The absence of apps like Facebook or WhatsApp that truly define user experiences is a double whammy for Huawei.

Currently the second largest smartphone player in the world (powered by stupendous growth in non-US regions like Europe and Asia), Huawei has sensed the tough road ahead. A recent report in Nikkei Asian Review claimed that Huawei has “downgraded its forecast for total smartphone shipments in the second half of 2019 by about 20 per cent to 30 per cent from the previous estimate”.

According to Navkendar Singh, Research Director, Devices and Ecosystem, India and South Asia, IDC, almost half of Huawei’s smartphone volumes come from outside China with its wide smartphone portfolio which runs on Android with Google Mobile Services (GMS) – a collection of Google applications and application programming interfaces (APIs) that help support functionality across devices.

“China has its own ecosystem of apps which are hugely popular but only in China. Outside it, almost all popular Android apps are from Google or from US-based companies. These apps are the heart of experience of any smartphone user these days,” Singh told IANS.

“Without these apps present on its own OS, it will be very very tough for Huawei to pull in demand for its phones running on its own OS,” he added.

Sandwiched between the ongoing US-China trade war, Chinese telecom equipment major Huawei is frantically looking to salvage its prestige and fast cover the lost ground.

The company is also looking at the Indian smartphone market which has touched 450 million smartphone users and has a great potential to grow.

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Huawei smartphones are seen in front of displayed Google Play logo in this illustration picture, May 20, 2019. VOA

“In India, they have never been really able to scale up to be a major player. But considering the growth potential in India, the decision by Google and Facebook has put a spanner in the Huawei’s possible aggressive plans for the country as the next growth market in next two-three years outside of China,” Singh told IANS.

Huawei pipped Apple as the second largest smartphone seller in the first quarter of 2019 after Samsung. It clocked 17 per cent market share in the global smartphone market, according to Counterpoint Research.

The Chinese tech giant, meanwhile, has denied reports that it has cut down smartphone manufacturing.

The company, however, is reassessing its target to become the world’s top-selling smartphone vendor by 2020, after the US trade ban was put in place.

On May 15, US President Donald Trump effectively banned Huawei with a national security order.

Huawei has filed a motion in a US court challenging the constitutionality of the US President Donald Trump’s order to ban it.

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According to reports, Google has also discussed with the US government about an exemption from the Huawei ban, saying it is bad for the company’s technology business.

Despite all this, there is no respite seen for Huawei in the near future and the company is likely to witness its smartphone business dwindle.

Unless, a miracle happens. (IANS)